Mike Napoli slide

Rangers defeat Royals after no collision at home plate

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Seriously, that’s why they won.

In a 6-6 game in the ninth, Mike Napoli tried to score all of the way from first on an Elvis Andrus single to right.  The relay from Mitch Maier to Eric Hosmer to Brayan Pena got to the plate in plenty of time.

In fact, there was so much time that Pena assumed Napoli would try to bowl him over in his only home of scoring (Click here to see the play).

Instead, Napoli slid in under an out-of-position Pena and home-plate umpire Mike Estabrook surprisingly made the correct call.  Pena’s tag came way up the body on Napoli’s arm after Napoli it looked like both of Napoli’s feet had already touched home plate.

The shocking ending could overshadow what would have been the prime storyline for the game: more struggles from both Neftali Feliz and Joakim Soria.  Feliz, who entered a tie game in the top of the ninth, gave up an unearned run and nearly got charged with a loss to add to his three blown saves in four appearances against the Royals this season.

Soria, though, let him off the hook.  He gave up a game-tying homer to Nelson Cruz to start the bottom of the ninth.  Two more hits followed, but it looked like Soria would escape with the score tied when Napoli attempted to score.  Instead, he was charged with both the blown save and the loss.

John Farrell will return to manage Red Sox in 2016

John Farrell
AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez
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John Farrell will return to manage the Red Sox next season, provided he is healthy enough to do so, the club announced Sunday morning in a press release.

Torey Lovullo, who has been serving as Boston’s interim manager since Farrell was diagnosed with lymphoma, signed a two-year contract to return as Farrell’s bench coach. Lovullo also forfeited his right to pursue another managerial role with the new deal.

Farrell guided the Red Sox to the World Series title in 2013 and the problems with the Red Sox over the last two seasons have been more about roster construction.

Dave Dombrowski took over the front office from Ben Cherington back in mid-August and will try to turn things around this winter.

All of the other coaches on Farrell’s staff will return except first-base coach Arnie Beyeler.

Piscotty returns to Cardinals lineup after concussion

Stephen Piscotty
AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar
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Stephen Piscotty took the brunt of a frightening outfield collision last week at PNC Park, but he only suffered a mild concussion and was cleared for baseball activities a couple days later.

Now he is back in the Cardinals’ starting lineup, batting second and playing right field Sunday in the first half of a doubleheader against the Braves at Atlanta’s Turner Field.

Piscotty has an impressive .867 OPS with seven home runs and 39 RBI over his first 62 major league games. He should be a big part of the Cardinals’ postseason push, drawing starts in the corner outfield spots and at first base.

St. Louis will get either the Pirates or Cubs in the NLDS.